Tag: run your race

Running Our Race Acceptably– By Matt Miller

This has been a full week for many of you.  We are in a season when many are experiencing dramatic shifts in life, with big decisions on your horizons and new experiences before you.  Such is often the case in the season of Spring with the end of the school year and the shifting of weather.  Our daily routines get changed a bit, the things that we need to do around our homes changes.  The clocks have moved, and the sun comes up a lot earlier than it had been only a few weeks ago.

As we contemplate all the changes, and the decisions that are set before us, let us reflect on some scriptures to maybe help us be grounded in this season and hopefully a few words that will help us along the way.

The Hebrew writer gives us the accounting of those faithful men and women of ancient days even as he wrote the words in chapter 11.  He testifies of the fact that those who we think of as giants of faith, were not made perfect apart from us, but we all look forward to the same hope and perfection that is only available in Jesus Christ. (Heb 11:39-40).  This thought is the launchpad then for what he writes next.

[Heb 12:1-3 NKJV] 1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares [us], and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

We often strive through the changes in our seasons of life through pain, tears, and strife.  The changes to our routines hurt, even the smallest ones – have you ever suffered from jetlag?  Maybe that’s why he cautioned us to put aside the things that are dragging us down.  Put aside your affection for how yesterday made you feel comfortable.  Embrace today for it is the only day before you (Jas 4:14).  Work through today and the challenges that it places.  Plan for tomorrow, but don’t be disappointed if it comes in a form and with challenges that you hadn’t planned to encounter.

In the Lord, we have a perfect example of running the race to completion as He is the first to have completed the race and has been exalted because of that perfection and place of honor which is rightly His. His blood atoning for us and His enduring all the worst of humanity, He has purchased you, and He has purchased me so He has earned (even by our own reasoning) the exalted place on which He stands. We then should look to that example and emulate Him in this life with an eye on that prize – His glory, His presence.

With  this in mind, let us not become weary, discouraged, or give up on our race.  Wherever you find yourself along the way, don’t stop putting one foot before the other.  Don’t give up on what you have set out to accomplish – eternal life in His presence. Notice that as we progress down the page in Hebrews 12, the writer tells us we aren’t done yet:

[Heb 12:4-8 NKJV] 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

When we encounter struggles in this life, there are a few perspectives on them that can help us in dealing with them.  Remember that the greatest hardships are in our lives because of sin. 

Because of the sin of others, the evil that sin is, our own sins.  Sin brought the curse upon creation.  That is maybe the loudest declaration that sin in all its forms has huge consequences.  These things serve as a reminder in a temporal kind of way. Toils, Pain, Sickness, and Death – all are a result of sin. All these remind us that God has judged against us because of Sin.  They also should remind those who are in Christ Jesus, that we are not bound to these things.  He has freed us of the bondage of such and we know that this is true, because of an empty grave.

That empty grave represents the accomplishment in Him that we look forward to.  That eternal existence in His Glory and in His presence where tears and pain and suffering will be no more.  The Hebrew writer compares the two mountains – Mt. Zion to where we go with Mt. Saini where the law was given and where Israel shuddered in fear at the sight and the terror of the Almighty.

We are going to the mountain on which God’s mercy and deliverance rests, but let us not lose hope, grow weary, or give up.  Let us run patiently with endurance and let us help one another along the way.

Lift the fainting and stir one another as we seek to honor Him whom we serve.  Let us remember that He is worthy and accept His correction because we are made sons and heirs through Jesus.

[Heb 12:28-29 NKJV] 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God [is] a consuming fire.

We shall not be moved not by the fearful things of this world, nor by difficulty.  We have hope, and not despair, and so we press on along the way.  In prayer, in diligence, in faith.